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IN DEPTH: The Chiass

Battling his way to another one-year contract via a Professional Tryout, Oilers winger Alex Chiasson is proving, once again, that he was worth the risk and is coming even better than advertised thus far.

by Cait MacPhail /

Fans are rarely privy to the exact ins and outs of player signings, contract negotiations, or trade formulations-whether it be exactly how they come to be or any close-calls or near-misses along the way.

Hockey insiders across broadcast networks can offer insight or a small window to a world fans clamor for a glimpse into. Look no further for proof than some of hockey's most influential pundits who command more than one million Twitter followers that hang on every character of every tweet about anything from the "inside".

These media personalities can supply the slivers that satiate an appetite for real-time, behind-the-scenes info, but in reality, these talks are held close to the chest on the sides of agents, players and teams for obvious reasons.

It's not just leading up to those loud signings on July 1 where this delicate process plays out. Dictating the future of any player takes time, diligence and forethought from many perspective.

And as Alex Chiasson embarked on the second professional tryout (PTO) experience of his career this fall in Edmonton, he knew that process of patiently combing for the right fit is key, while also keeping in mind that once your blades hits the ice for that next opportunity, nothing is certain. 

He is no stranger to this.  

"You're taking two suitcases, a suit, a couple shirts, a backpack and off you go. But you're still not really sure where you're going to end up," said the forward.

While the 28-year-old made earning a spot with the Oilers the priority, he was not blind to the realities of fighting for a contract this way. You're showcasing in one city, but others with interest can keep a keen eye. A year earlier, he was rolling into the Washington Capitals training camp under the same circumstances.

"Obviously you're trying out for one team, but you're also trying out for every other team in the NHL."

The Edmonton Oilers announced on Sept. 10 that they had signed the Quebec native to a PTO. With a goal of rounding out their forward group, in addition to some off-season signings, the organization opted to bring in the versatile winger to compete for a contract. If he earned that, the next step would be vying for playing time against a mix of burgeoning prospects and other vets in the Oilers system.


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